We consider the NP-hard Multiple Depot Vehicle Scheduling Problem, in which a given set of time-tabled trips have to be assigned to vehicles stationed at different depots, so as to minimize the number of vehicles used and the overall operational cost. The problem arises in the management of transportation companies. In this paper some structural properties of the problem are studied and used to design a new polynomial-time heuristic algorithm which always guarantees the use of the minimum number of vehicles. Several effective refining procedures are also proposed. Extensive computational results on test problems involving up to 1,000 trips and 10 depots are reported, showing that the new approach always produces very tight approximate solutions in small computing times and outperforms other heuristics from the literature.
Heuristic Algorithms for the Multiple Depot Vehicle Scheduling Problem / Dell'Amico, Mauro; Fischetti, M.; Toth, P.. - In: MANAGEMENT SCIENCE. - ISSN 0025-1909. - STAMPA. - 39:(1993), pp. 115-125.